Warren Edward Buffet, otherwise known by his moniker the “Oracle of Omaha,” has amassed $62 billion in riches over the past few decades, but what steps did he take to get to that long-winding road of success?
You could say that investing is in Buffet's blood. He made his first bucks selling soft drinks and working a paper route. When he was 14, he invested his earnings from these jobs to buy 40 acres of land and rented it out. He completed his graduate degree at Columbia University under the tutelage of Benjamin Graham, the patriarch of value investing. Upon graduation, he worked for his father's brokerage firm and pursued a career in New York as well. By the time he was 30, he had already amassed millions and founded Buffett & Associates Ltd. with Charles Munger. Buffett believed
purchasing well-managed but undervalued companies and his long-term philosophy was to hold onto stocks for indeterminate periods of time. One of his first purchases was the textile mill Berkshire Hathaway. Although the company was in its last dregs, it still showed signs of life and Buffett was able to reinvest profits from the company in other ventures. Although he eventually shut down the business, he continued to use the name and Berkshire Hathaway has now grown into a $360 billion corporation. Other companies that Buffett has purchased include Coca Cola, American Express, the Gillette Company, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen, The
Pampered Chef and GEICO Auto Insurance. Buffet also has holdings in Wells Fargo, IBM, American Express, Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and ExxonMobil.Buffett's idiosyncratic investing style is most notable in his shareholder letters. Reading through these documents, one can gain a firm grasp of how he approaches investments and access valuable insights in the process. After all the years, Buffett has remained quite modest in his lifestyle and made headlines after announcing that he would be donating the majority of his net worth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which addresses major world health issues. As Buffett has expressed: "I am not
an enthusiast of dynastic wealth, particularly when the alternative is six billion people having that much poorer hands in life than we have, having a chance to benefit from the money." Buffett believes that the average consists of what everyone else is doing, but he always worked according to what he called the Inner Scorecard, assessing his performance against his own standards not the world's. This approach has indeed boded well for him thus far and is a cue for anyone else that looks up to his investment style.
Page 1 of 4